Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: one-two, overlaps, passing, receiving, running with the ball, screening, turning
Here’s a session, divided into two parts, that benefits players in three core elements.
At the heart of this is possession, but keeping the ball is only really useful if players know what to do with it, and that’s where patience and penetration come into play.
This practice also allows players to rehearse passing, receiving, turning, screening, one-twos, running with the ball and overlaps.
How to play it
This is an ideal start for getting younger players using combinations without having to get the ball to a designated target. It really cements the basics of support play, with overloads helping to create confidence in maintaining possession (see the top picture).
- Set this up so attackers have a strong overload (I use 11v5 in a 30×15 yards area, but you can use a smaller area with a 9v4 or a 7v3).
- Both teams must try to win the ball and keep possession of it – they’ll do this by supporting and communicating well with team mates at all times.
- Play for five minutes, switching players so that all get to work with and against the overload.
Now, the objective for both teams is to pass the ball to either of the target players, who are positioned in five-yard channels at each end of the area. Moving in to a directional practice replicates match-like demands of retaining possession and finding an end target (see the middle and bottom pictures).
- In the example given, this is 6v6 in the middle, plus two floaters (F) who always play with the team in possession (to make 8v6).
- If a successful pass is made to a target player, he passes the ball back to the team previously in possession and the other end is attacked.
- If play is turned over, the other team can now use the floaters in an 8v6, and attempt to feed the ball to either target man.
- Play for five minutes.
Technique and tactics
- Look for the creation of space (wide and deep), as individuals and as a team.
- Pass selection is important, with the focus on accuracy, weight and timing of the release.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: dribbling, first touch, individual, keepy uppy, pre-season, receiving, running with the ball
I’ve had a bunch of letters this week from coaches and parents asking about individual training when their child is not getting enough from their club, or coaches who are facing a new season and want to give their players something they can do at home.
Individual training will often depend on the resources of the club – are there enough balls for every player to have one for instance. What I often do is get the parents to bring a ball to training so every player has their own ball. Of course not everyone remembers (or can be bothered) to bring a ball but I can cover those with the club balls.
Once you have them all with a ball then you can do individual skills like running and turning or throwing the ball in the air and controlling it with their first touch. I’m lucky at my club because the training area has a wall that I can get players to pass to and receive it back off the wall.
I set up a dribbling line of cones quite far apart so players can run at speed with the ball, then five yards from the wall I put a cone where players must stop, pass, receive back, turn and run back. you can set up a few of these and players can run constantly between the cones.
Add into the mix some individual keepy-uppys where individuals can try and keep the ball in the air with any part of their body except their hands. I’m sure a lot of coaches have their own ideas and I’d be interested to hear them.
Click here to go to my Forum to read ideas or add your own.
Watch this video clip that has some more ideas for individual training:
Filed under: Better Soccer Coaching Blog Guests, Uncategorized | Tags: ball control, running with the ball, walcott
There is no finer sight whether you’re watching junior soccer or professionals to see a player running at with the ball under control and destroying the other team.
This is why you shouldn’t tell your players to always pass the ball when they have created space. If they run into that space they are threatening the opposition causing them to react in a different way. Running at a back four means the defenders are caught between going to the runner with the ball and the other attackers moving into dangerous positions.
If they are pressed and can’t beat the player then they can pass and the result will be another player running into space.
Very difficult to defend against. It’s running with the ball and facing 1v1 decisions on the way to goal. I they can run with the ball the whole way they will have split the opposition defence open and have a good chance of scoring.
Give your players the freedom to run with the ball and don’t tell them off if they lose it!
Watch Theo Walcott do it below:
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer Skills, Soccer Training | Tags: charlie davies, fast feet, michael bradley, pierre barrieu, running with the ball, team usa, US national team
By Dave Clarke
Fast feet, dribble, pass then finish. Now that would be impressive, but follow my tips for giving players fast feet, then get them to do the drill at the end from Pierre Barrieu the fitness coach for the US national team and you will find your players are able to do this on match days.
Use cones, kit bags, flag poles, players bodies, tracksuits and balls. Put them all on the ground as alternatives to specialist ladders. Make the players move through these obstacles, making sure they do not step on any.
2. Fast feet adventure courses
Set up courses which require lots of different footwork skills. Each player can be timed over the course, with seconds added for failure to complete a section correctly. For instance station one could be jumping back and forward over a kit bag six times, followed by a zig-zag through cones, then running backwards through some poles.
3. Slow, fast, slow
Sometimes footwork can become repetitive, without challenging the player. Change the rhythm of the footwork session by changing the pace of the activity. A fast foot exercise can be made harder by using small hurdles or poles laid flat on the ground and players have to go at different speeds through them.
Watch this clip of Pierre Barrieu the fitness coach for the US national team, with Charlie Davis and Michael Bradley from the US team. You can set this up and play it with your team:
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer Skills | Tags: changing speeds, control, fitness, running with the ball
The lines on a soccer pitch can be used for more than just a match. You can make some great games up just by getting players to follow the lines and turn at right angles. Players have to control the ball running in straight lines on a pitch and it works well for your training sessions.
Check out this game, which helps players get used to changing pace and controlling the ball. It’s great fun for the players and good for their fitness too.
Watch the clip and get your players running around the lines: